Virtual reality: Keyhole surgeons training could help meet European working time directives

Jan 21, 2009

Trainee surgeons who add virtual reality (VR) training to standard 'apprenticeship' training in key-hole surgery learn more quickly, work with greater accuracy and have less errors than those with no VR training, and perform as well as those who use additional video training. The finding of this Cochrane Systematic Review is important because training surgeons is time-consuming and costly, and surgeons have to develop new skills while working within the hour-limits set by European legislation.

More and more abdominal surgery is now performed using laparoscopes - instruments introduced into the patient's body through small incisions in the skin. This means that surgeons experienced in conventional surgery need to train with the new equipment, as well as newly qualified doctors who are at the beginning of their surgical careers.

The Royal College of Surgeons runs training courses that let a surgeon see what a procedure involves. With the arrival of desktop computing that has high graphic capability, software developers have built programs that enable the trainee to interact with the images. "This greater level of involvement gives the possibility that surgeons will be able to develop skills more rapidly," said Kurinchi Gurusamy, who works at the University Department of Surgery at the Royal Free Hospital, London.

To assess the impact of VR training, Gurusamy and colleagues searched for published research studies that compared VR training with other methods of training. They then undertook a detailed analysis of all the randomised trials that addressed this issue. There were 23 trials in total involving a total of 612 participants. The data clearly demonstrated the benefits of VR training.

"If we are going to meet the requirements of the European Working Time Directive, which effectively decreases the time available for training surgeons, as well as the Department of Health's modernising medical careers initiative, we need to develop highly efficient means of teaching new surgical skills. Virtual reality techniques may fulfil that need," said Kurinchi.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: What to do with kidneys from older deceased donors?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Amputee puts limb system through its paces

Dec 19, 2014

"Amputee Makes History with APL's Modular Prosthetic Limb" is the headline from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where a team working on prosthetics observed a milestone when a double amputee showed ...

Montreal VR headset team turns to crowdfunding for Totem

Sep 18, 2014

A challenger in the virtual reality headset marketplace has launched a crowdfunding campaign to get the project off the ground. The headset is called Totem. The company behind Totem is Montreal-based Vrvana. ...

Virtual reality used to train surgeons

Mar 02, 2006

A Case Western Reserve University scientist in Cleveland says he's developing a way to use virtual reality simulation to train brain and heart surgeons.

Beyond Google Glass: Researcher looks to the future

Aug 20, 2013

(Phys.org) —A wearable display being developed by UA optical scientist Hong Hua could have capabilities even more advanced than those of the recently unveiled Google Glass, a pair of glasses with smartphone ...

Recommended for you

What to do with kidneys from older deceased donors?

Mar 26, 2015

A new study highlights the best way to use kidneys from older deceased donors, providing the most benefits to patients and addressing the worsening organ shortage. The study's findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.